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Maguire Products Inc. and Novatec Inc. have pulled out of NPE2009, as officials of the two auxiliary equipment makers plan to invest money they would have spent on exhibiting at the show to develop new technology.
Maguire Products' president and owner, Steve Maguire, also is majority shareholder in Novatec. The companies had booked separate booths at NPE2009.
Steve Maguire and Conrad Bessemer, Novatec's president and CEO, are scheduled to make the joint announcement April 27. The both cited the economic downturn as the major reason not to show their wares at the June 22-26 trade show in Chicago.
Bessemer said U.S. bookings for auxiliary equipment have plunged about 50 percent this year, so far.
“This is a near depression in the plastics machinery business,” he said in an interview at Plastics News' office in Akron.
Maguire and Bessemer said withdrawing from NPE2009 is not an “overall cost-cutting move” for their firms. “Instead it is just a decision on where best to spend the money,” he said.
Maguire said that, “under normal circumstances,” the firms would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to exhibit during an NPE. Total spending on NPE for Maguire and Novatec would be around $750,000, according to Maguire and Bessemer. Booth space — which the firms have already paid for — typically makes up only about 25 percent of the total costs, they said.
“But these are not normal times,” Maguire said. “We are in the midst of a serious recession and we have to question the sense of spending our customers' money on a five-day exhibit.”
Maguire said the global recession is forcing firms to cut expenses, and right now they have three options: NPE, experienced employees or product development. He said Maguire Products has tried using a four-day work week to reduce labor costs. But cutting key employees is not a good strategy, he said.
Maguire and Bessemer said the decision came after months of discussions with customers, other exhibitors and officials of show organizer, the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. of Washington.
Steve Maguire said the firms did surveys that indicate processors will be sending “significantly fewer” people to attend NPE. The firms will use other ways to reach customers, including a new 24/7 “virtual trade show” on their Web sites that will have guided tours of new technology geared to save energy and material costs.
Bessemer characterized NPE as “five days in June,” adding, “the rest of the year, you still have to be visible.”
Maguire, of Aston, Pa., makes gravimetric blenders, feeders, loaders and liquid-color pumps. Baltimore-based Novatec makes dryers.